© John Vink / Magnum Photos

 

Some 50 villagers from Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin, entangled in a land issue an who are staying at Wat Chas, were prevented from crossing the gate of the pagoda by an important and rather disproportionate force of combined riot police and municipal security guards when they wanted to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house.

Four members of the Boeung Kak lake community who showed up in support of the villagers were promptly arrested and evacuated to the police station.

Two villagers who felt unwell were carried away by LICADHO for medical treatment.

Mr Khleang Hout, governor of Chroy Changvar, came to hear the complaints of the villagers. How the governor of Chroy Changva can resolve land disputes in far-off provinces will probably remain a mystery.

Update: the land rights activist from Boeung Kak lake were released already.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Security guards containing protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Security guards containing protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Police arresting 4 land rights activists from Boeung Kak lake who came to support villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Police arresting 4 land rights activists from Boeung Kak lake who came to support villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Police arresting Tep Vanny and 3 land rights activists from Boeung Kak lake who came to support villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Police arresting Tep Vanny and 3 land rights activists from Boeung Kak lake who came to support villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Security guards armed with steel pipes containing protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Security guards armed with steel pipes containing protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Security guards containing protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Security guards containing protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital give the rubdown treatment to one of them who felt faint. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital give the rubdown treatment to one of them who felt faint. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Security guards containing protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Security guards containing protesting villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Evacuation of a fainting villager who, together with other villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital, when he was protesting. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Evacuation of a fainting villager who, together with other villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues and who were hosted at the Wat Chas pagoda in the capital, when he was protesting. They were prevented to leave the pagoda by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Khleang Hout, governor of Chroy Changvar district, listens to villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues, when being prevented to leave Wat Chas where they were hosted, by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 29/08/2014: Khleang Hout, governor of Chroy Changvar district, listens to villagers from Banteay Meanchey, Svay Rieng and Pailin entangled in land issues, when being prevented to leave Wat Chas where they were hosted, by security forces and riot police units when they tried to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen's house.

There is some turnover among the 250 villagers hosted at Wat Chas pagoda on the Chroy Changvar peninsula. Villagers from Battambang and some from Banteay Meanchey, embroiled in land issues back home and who came to Phnom Penh to find a solution with the authorities, have returned after written promises from those in charge. Others, from Svay Rieng, arrived yesterday. As long as the authorities are unable to solve the problems locally, they will keep coming. They have done it for the last 14 years that I know of. There is no good reason they would stop. What else can they do but seek help higher up and bypass local incompetence?

This is a follow-up post on the ‘Quest for Land‘ story which is available as an iApp on iTunes and which reports on land issues in Cambodia since the year 2000 with texts by Robert Carmichael and over 700 photographs.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Men from several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities, wait for breakfast.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Men from several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities, wait for breakfast.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Cellphone batteries charging at the expense of the pagoda. Several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Cellphone batteries charging at the expense of the pagoda. Several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Men prepare breakfast for several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Men prepare breakfast for several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Woman calling her child next to her drying laundry at the pagoda. Several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Woman calling her child next to her drying laundry at the pagoda. Several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Belongings from several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Belongings from several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Reading an official document at the pagoda. Several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Reading an official document at the pagoda. Several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Girl calling home while preparing food for several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Girl calling home while preparing food for several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Villagers from Svay Rieng listen to an offcial from the province. Several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Villagers from Svay Rieng listen to an offcial from the province. Several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Buddhist monks mediate and discuss with villagers. Several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 28/08/2014: Buddhist monks mediate and discuss with villagers. Several groups of villagers with land issues in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Svay Rieng and Battambang gathered at Wat Chas in the capital to find a solution to their problem with the authorities.

Both the former Boeung Kak lake residents and the villagers evicted from Lor Peang held a demonstration, giving the police quite a lot of work. The Boeung Kak residents started with a demonstration at the Singaporean embassy because a Singaporean company bought some land from Shukaku Inc which evicted some 3000 of the 4000 families near the lake. Eggs were thrown and the small crowd then tried to reach the National Assembly but was held back by the police.

At the same time the villagers from Lor Peang wanted to reach Prime Minister Hun Sen’s residence in the capital but were prevented from doing so.

And it seems the evicted villagers from Battambang and Pailin province who arrived day before yesterday at Wat Chas encountered some problems with the police as well…

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Former residents of Boeung Kak demonstrate in front of the Singaporean Embassy which recently bought some land from Shukaku Inc, the company which evicted 3000 of the 4000 families living around the Boeung Kak lake.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Former residents of Boeung Kak demonstrate in front of the Singaporean Embassy which recently bought some land from Shukaku Inc, the company which evicted 3000 of the 4000 families living around the Boeung Kak lake.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Former residents of Boeung Kak demonstrate in front of the Singaporean Embassy which recently bought some land from Shukaku Inc, the company which evicted 3000 of the 4000 families living around the Boeung Kak lake.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Former residents of Boeung Kak demonstrate in front of the Singaporean Embassy which recently bought some land from Shukaku Inc, the company which evicted 3000 of the 4000 families living around the Boeung Kak lake.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Eggs thrown by former residents of Boeung Kak when demonstrating in front of the Singaporean Embassy which recently bought some land from Shukaku Inc, the company which evicted 3000 of the 4000 families living around the Boeung Kak lake.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Eggs thrown by former residents of Boeung Kak when demonstrating in front of the Singaporean Embassy which recently bought some land from Shukaku Inc, the company which evicted 3000 of the 4000 families living around the Boeung Kak lake.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Former residents of Boeung Kak, supported by members of the evicted Borei Keila community are prevented from reaching the National Assembly by the police.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Former residents of Boeung Kak, supported by members of the evicted Borei Keila community are prevented from reaching the National Assembly by the police.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Yorm Bopha, land rights activist, and former residents of Boeung Kak, supported by members of the evicted Borei Keila community are prevented from reaching the National Assembly by the police.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Yorm Bopha, land rights activist, and former residents of Boeung Kak, supported by members of the evicted Borei Keila community are prevented from reaching the National Assembly by the police.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Former residents of Boeung Kak, supported by members of the evicted Borei Keila community are prevented from reaching the National Assembly by the police.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Former residents of Boeung Kak, supported by members of the evicted Borei Keila community are prevented from reaching the National Assembly by the police.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Yorm Bopha, land rights activist, and former residents of Boeung Kak, supported by members of the evicted Borei Keila community are prevented from reaching the National Assembly by the police.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Yorm Bopha, land rights activist, and former residents of Boeung Kak, supported by members of the evicted Borei Keila community are prevented from reaching the National Assembly by the police.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Former residents of Boeung Kak, supported by members of the evicted Borei Keila community brandish portraits of Kep Chuktema, the former governor who they hold responsible for the mess they are in, when trying to reach the National Assembly.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Former residents of Boeung Kak, supported by members of the evicted Borei Keila community brandish portraits of Kep Chuktema, the former governor who they hold responsible for the mess they are in, when trying to reach the National Assembly.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Villagers from Lor Peang who were evicted by KDC company owned by Chea Kheng, the wife of Mines and Energy Minister Suy Sem, demonstrate with bull horns borrowed from the Boeung Kak community and are stopped by a police blockade when trying to reach Prime Minister Hun Sen's residence.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Villagers from Lor Peang who were evicted by KDC company owned by Chea Kheng, the wife of Mines and Energy Minister Suy Sem, demonstrate with bull horns borrowed from the Boeung Kak community and are stopped by a police blockade when trying to reach Prime Minister Hun Sen's residence.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Villagers from Lor Peang who were evicted by KDC company owned by Chea Kheng, the wife of Mines and Energy Minister Suy Sem, demonstrate and are stopped by a police blockade when trying to reach Prime Minister Hun Sen's residence.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/08/2014: Villagers from Lor Peang who were evicted by KDC company owned by Chea Kheng, the wife of Mines and Energy Minister Suy Sem, demonstrate and are stopped by a police blockade when trying to reach Prime Minister Hun Sen's residence.

Some 230 people involved in land issues in Battambang and Pailin arrived by mini-van late last night and are resting at the Wat Chas pagoda on the Chroy Changva peninsula.

Residents evicted from the railway land were having a press conference in a street adjacent to the Asian Development Bank which failed on them during the relocation.

This is a follow-up post on the ‘Quest for Land‘ story which is available as an iApp on iTunes and which reports on land issues in Cambodia since the year 2000 with texts by Robert Carmichael and over 700 photographs.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Some 230 people who arrived with mini-vans late on the previous night, take a rest in Wat Chas pagoda on the Chroy Changva peninsula before protesting about their land issues in Battambang and Pailin provinces.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Some 230 people who arrived with mini-vans late on the previous night, take a rest in Wat Chas pagoda on the Chroy Changva peninsula before protesting about their land issues in Battambang and Pailin provinces.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Some 230 people who arrived with mini-vans late on the previous night, take a rest in Wat Chas pagoda on the Chroy Changva peninsula before protesting about their land issues in Battambang and Pailin provinces.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Some 230 people who arrived with mini-vans late on the previous night, take a rest in Wat Chas pagoda on the Chroy Changva peninsula before protesting about their land issues in Battambang and Pailin provinces.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Some 230 people who arrived with mini-vans late on the previous night, take a rest in Wat Chas pagoda on the Chroy Changva peninsula before protesting about their land issues in Battambang and Pailin provinces.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Some 230 people who arrived with mini-vans late on the previous night, take a rest in Wat Chas pagoda on the Chroy Changva peninsula before protesting about their land issues in Battambang and Pailin provinces.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Some 230 people who arrived with mini-vans late on the previous night, take a rest in Wat Chas pagoda on the Chroy Changva peninsula before protesting about their land issues in Battambang and Pailin provinces.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Some 230 people who arrived with mini-vans late on the previous night, take a rest in Wat Chas pagoda on the Chroy Changva peninsula before protesting about their land issues in Battambang and Pailin provinces.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Some 230 people who arrived with mini-vans late on the previous night, take a rest in Wat Chas pagoda on the Chroy Changva peninsula before protesting about their land issues in Battambang and Pailin provinces.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Some 230 people who arrived with mini-vans late on the previous night, take a rest in Wat Chas pagoda on the Chroy Changva peninsula before protesting about their land issues in Battambang and Pailin provinces.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Some 230 people who arrived with mini-vans late on the previous night, take a rest in Wat Chas pagoda on the Chroy Changva peninsula before protesting about their land issues in Battambang and Pailin provinces.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Some 230 people who arrived with mini-vans late on the previous night, take a rest in Wat Chas pagoda on the Chroy Changva peninsula before protesting about their land issues in Battambang and Pailin provinces.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Some 230 people who arrived with mini-vans late on the previous night, take a rest in Wat Chas pagoda on the Chroy Changva peninsula before protesting about their land issues in Battambang and Pailin provinces.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Some 230 people who arrived with mini-vans late on the previous night, take a rest in Wat Chas pagoda on the Chroy Changva peninsula before protesting about their land issues in Battambang and Pailin provinces.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Community from the evicted railway land stage a press conference near the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to reject the answers they got regarding their August 3rd petition.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Community from the evicted railway land stage a press conference near the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to reject the answers they got regarding their August 3rd petition.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Community from the evicted railway land stage a press conference near the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to reject the answers they got regarding their August 3rd petition.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Community from the evicted railway land stage a press conference near the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to reject the answers they got regarding their August 3rd petition.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Offering made by the community from the evicted railway land when staging a press conference near the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to reject the answers they got regarding their August 3rd petition.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 26/08/2014: Offering made by the community from the evicted railway land when staging a press conference near the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to reject the answers they got regarding their August 3rd petition.

Villagers from Lor Peang (Kampong Tralach district, Kampong Trach) who were evicted by KDC company and who walked all the way to Phnom Penh after several members from their community were arrested, are now staying with the Boeung Kak community. At a demonstration this morning, taking the villagers through the streets of he capital and to the Ministry of Justice and the National Assembly, they were helped to get organised by the Boeung Kak lake land rights activists in their endeavour to deliver a series of petitions.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 25/08/2014: Inhabitants from Lor Peang (Kampong Tralach district, Kampong Chhnang) who were evicted from their land by KDC company, after having marched to Phnom Penh when several members of their community were arrested, demonstrate in the streets of Phnom Penh, in front of the Ministry of Justice and the National Assembly, trained by Boeung Kak land rights activists.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 25/08/2014: Inhabitants from Lor Peang (Kampong Tralach district, Kampong Chhnang) who were evicted from their land by KDC company, after having marched to Phnom Penh when several members of their community were arrested, demonstrate in the streets of Phnom Penh, in front of the Ministry of Justice and the National Assembly, trained by Boeung Kak land rights activists.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 25/08/2014: Inhabitants from Lor Peang (Kampong Tralach district, Kampong Chhnang) who were evicted from their land by KDC company, after having marched to Phnom Penh when several members of their community were arrested, demonstrate in the streets of Phnom Penh, in front of the Ministry of Justice and the National Assembly, trained by Boeung Kak land rights activists.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 25/08/2014: Inhabitants from Lor Peang (Kampong Tralach district, Kampong Chhnang) who were evicted from their land by KDC company, after having marched to Phnom Penh when several members of their community were arrested, demonstrate in the streets of Phnom Penh, in front of the Ministry of Justice and the National Assembly, trained by Boeung Kak land rights activists.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 25/08/2014: Inhabitants from Lor Peang (Kampong Tralach district, Kampong Chhnang) who were evicted from their land by KDC company, after having marched to Phnom Penh when several members of their community were arrested, demonstrate in the streets of Phnom Penh, in front of the Ministry of Justice and the National Assembly, trained by Boeung Kak land rights activists.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 25/08/2014: Inhabitants from Lor Peang (Kampong Tralach district, Kampong Chhnang) who were evicted from their land by KDC company, after having marched to Phnom Penh when several members of their community were arrested, demonstrate in the streets of Phnom Penh, in front of the Ministry of Justice and the National Assembly, trained by Boeung Kak land rights activists.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 25/08/2014: Inhabitants from Lor Peang (Kampong Tralach district, Kampong Chhnang) who were evicted from their land by KDC company, after having marched to Phnom Penh when several members of their community were arrested, demonstrate in the streets of Phnom Penh, in front of the Ministry of Justice and the National Assembly, trained by Boeung Kak land rights activists.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 25/08/2014: Inhabitants from Lor Peang (Kampong Tralach district, Kampong Chhnang) who were evicted from their land by KDC company, after having marched to Phnom Penh when several members of their community were arrested, demonstrate in the streets of Phnom Penh, in front of the Ministry of Justice and the National Assembly, trained by Boeung Kak land rights activists.

Work in progress… See more work at THIS and THIS link.

The construction of the Sesan2 dam in Stung Treng province (Northern Cambodia) is well under way and supposed to be finished by 2016-17, threatening the livelihood of 5 villages.

For sure Cambodia needs dams to fuel its economic growth. For Banlung city alone the power needs jumped from 1 Mw in 1998 to 7 Mw today. That it has to be done at the expense of people living along the shores of the Sesan and the Srepok rivers or anyone else is questionable. The monetary compensation policy for those whose houses and land will be submerged is rather difficult to assess: there are very different views on the price of land. The plan at the relocation site does not respond to the needs of the villagers: a plot of land of 5 meter by 20 meter is insufficient to build a house, fit the cattle, chicken, tractor, boat engine, cart and other usual paraphernalia found on a farm. The quality of the allocated 5 hectare of farmland is uncertain and might not be suitable to grow the rice.

The impact on the fish population for sure will be felt by the relocated villagers, but also by those living downstream: it is estimated that the planned dams on the North Cambodian rivers will diminish the number of fish by 9%.

The ecological impact, even before the Sesan2 is finished, is already considerable. The future reservoir for the dam is being cleared of all its precious timber, much to the benefit of those who will trade further down the line but also to the villagers themselves who are scrambling to make big money. The atmosphere in Srekor village has totally changed. From a quiet village with some buffaloes chewing on hay, it turned into a showcase of the latest 2700 $US motorbike.

So what is the real price of those dams going to be? The purely economical one or the one integrating the human and ecological impact? Will it only be the one paid for wages, bags of cement and steel (which in normal circumstances would be 1.2 million $US per potential Mw and seems to be more like 2.1 million $US for the Sesan2), or the one where the company, the Cambodian government, the villagers and, yes, even the fish will be satisfied?

What is the real price for development anyway? Clearly, human intellect, if it wasn’t obscured by greed, be it in Cambodia or in any other country, could find decent answers, provide satisfying solutions.

CAMBODIA, Stung Treng (Stung Treng). 19/08/2014: Sculpture of a fish. Cambodians get 50%% of their proteins from fish. There could be 9%% less fish available because of the construction of dams along the Mekong tributaries.

CAMBODIA, Stung Treng (Stung Treng). 19/08/2014: Sculpture of a fish. Cambodians get 50%% of their proteins from fish. There could be 9%% less fish available because of the construction of dams along the Mekong tributaries.

CAMBODIA, Stung Treng (Stung Treng). 22/08/2014: Villagers from the opposite side of the Mekong bring their goods to the market.

CAMBODIA, Stung Treng (Stung Treng). 22/08/2014: Villagers from the opposite side of the Mekong bring their goods to the market.

CAMBODIA, Stung Treng (Stung Treng). 21/08/2014: Moto dup waiting for customers.

CAMBODIA, Stung Treng (Stung Treng). 21/08/2014: Moto dup waiting for customers.

CAMBODIA, Stung Treng (Stung Treng). 19/08/2014: Mosquito prevention poster on window of car passing in front of rubber plantations.

CAMBODIA, Stung Treng (Stung Treng). 19/08/2014: Mosquito prevention poster on window of car passing in front of rubber plantations.

CAMBODIA, Phluk (Stung Treng). 20/08/2014: Boat on the Sesan river where a dam, likely threatening the way of life and food supplies of its residents, is under construction.

CAMBODIA, Phluk (Stung Treng). 20/08/2014: Boat on the Sesan river where a dam, likely threatening the way of life and food supplies of its residents, is under construction.

CAMBODIA, Srekor (Stung Treng). 19/08/2014: Pieces of precious timber unloaded by villagers whose homes will be flooded and relocated because of the water from the Sesan2 dam. The timber located in the reservoir area can be logged legally and sold to tycoon Kith Meng who obtained the sole rights to acquire the timber.

CAMBODIA, Srekor (Stung Treng). 19/08/2014: Pieces of precious timber unloaded by villagers whose homes will be flooded and relocated because of the water from the Sesan2 dam. The timber located in the reservoir area can be logged legally and sold to tycoon Kith Meng who obtained the sole rights to acquire the timber.

CAMBODIA, Srekor (Stung Treng). 19/08/2014: Logs of precious timber loaded on a trailer by villagers whose homes will be flooded and relocated because of the water from the Sesan2 dam. The timber located in the reservoir area can be logged legally and sold to tycoon Kith Meng who obtained the sole rights to acquire the timber.

CAMBODIA, Srekor (Stung Treng). 19/08/2014: Logs of precious timber loaded on a trailer by villagers whose homes will be flooded and relocated because of the water from the Sesan2 dam. The timber located in the reservoir area can be logged legally and sold to tycoon Kith Meng who obtained the sole rights to acquire the timber.

CAMBODIA, Srekor (Stung Treng). 19/08/2014: Children cleaning their bicycle in the water of the Sesan river which will flood their houses once the Sesan2 dam is built.

CAMBODIA, Srekor (Stung Treng). 19/08/2014: Children cleaning their bicycle in the water of the Sesan river which will flood their houses once the Sesan2 dam is built.

CAMBODIA, Phluk (Stung Treng). 20/08/2014: Floating bridge allowing access to the construction site of a hydropower dam which likely will threaten the way of life and food supplies of the river's residents.

CAMBODIA, Phluk (Stung Treng). 20/08/2014: Floating bridge allowing access to the construction site of a hydropower dam which likely will threaten the way of life and food supplies of the river's residents.

CAMBODIA, Phluk (Stung Treng). 20/08/2014: Villagers pulling their boat underneath a temporary floating bridge built to allow access to the construction site of a hydropower dam.

CAMBODIA, Phluk (Stung Treng). 20/08/2014: Villagers pulling their boat underneath a temporary floating bridge built to allow access to the construction site of a hydropower dam.

CAMBODIA, Sesan2 (Stung Treng). 20/08/2014: Workers heading for lunch during their midday break on the construction site of the Sesan2 dam which will affect the livelihoods and food supplies of 5 villages along the Sesan and Srepok rivers.

CAMBODIA, Sesan2 (Stung Treng). 20/08/2014: Workers heading for lunch during their midday break on the construction site of the Sesan2 dam which will affect the livelihoods and food supplies of 5 villages along the Sesan and Srepok rivers.

CAMBODIA, Sesan2 (Stung Treng). 20/08/2014: Workers during their midday break at the construction site of the Sesan2 dam which will affect the livelihoods and food supplies of 5 villages along the Sesan and Srepok rivers.

CAMBODIA, Sesan2 (Stung Treng). 20/08/2014: Workers during their midday break at the construction site of the Sesan2 dam which will affect the livelihoods and food supplies of 5 villages along the Sesan and Srepok rivers.

CAMBODIA, Sesan2 (Stung Treng). 20/08/2014: Construction site of the Sesan2 dam which likely will affect the livelihoods and food supplies of 5 villages along the Sesan and Srepok rivers.

CAMBODIA, Sesan2 (Stung Treng). 20/08/2014: Construction site of the Sesan2 dam which likely will affect the livelihoods and food supplies of 5 villages along the Sesan and Srepok rivers.

CAMBODIA, Banlung (Ratanakiri). 21/08/2014: Villagers, mostly landless migrants from various parts of Cambodia who missed the development train, live in temporary housing in the Sambok Tchap ('Bird's Nest') area of Banlung. The construction of a new road nearby signals their imminent eviction.

CAMBODIA, Banlung (Ratanakiri). 21/08/2014: Villagers, mostly landless migrants from various parts of Cambodia who missed the development train, live in temporary housing in the Sambok Tchap ('Bird's Nest') area of Banlung. The construction of a new road nearby signals their imminent eviction.

CAMBODIA, Banlung (Ratanakiri). 21/08/2014: Peddler selling sweet potatoes to villagers, mostly landless migrants from various parts of Cambodia who missed the development train, and live in temporary housing in the Sambok Tchap ('Bird's Nest') area of Banlung. The construction of a new road nearby signals their imminent eviction.

CAMBODIA, Banlung (Ratanakiri). 21/08/2014: Peddler selling sweet potatoes to villagers, mostly landless migrants from various parts of Cambodia who missed the development train, and live in temporary housing in the Sambok Tchap ('Bird's Nest') area of Banlung. The construction of a new road nearby signals their imminent eviction.

CAMBODIA, Banlung (Ratanakiri). 21/08/2014: Woman selling cheap food in a poor part of the city. Villagers, mostly landless migrants who missed the development train, live in temporary housing in the Sambok Tchap ('Bird's Nest') area of Banlung. The construction of a new road nearby signals their imminent eviction.

CAMBODIA, Banlung (Ratanakiri). 21/08/2014: Woman selling cheap food in a poor part of the city. Villagers, mostly landless migrants who missed the development train, live in temporary housing in the Sambok Tchap ('Bird's Nest') area of Banlung. The construction of a new road nearby signals their imminent eviction.

CAMBODIA, Banlung (Ratanakiri). 21/08/2014: Indigenous girls carry a traditional basket used by the mountain people.

CAMBODIA, Banlung (Ratanakiri). 21/08/2014: Indigenous girls carry a traditional basket used by the mountain people.

CAMBODIA, Stung Treng (Stung Treng). 22/08/2014: Fish at the market. Construction of hydropower power dams along the stream and its tributaries will likely have a major impact on fish spawning and quantity of fish available for consumption. Fifty percent of the proteins come from fish in the local diet.

CAMBODIA, Stung Treng (Stung Treng). 22/08/2014: Fish at the market. Construction of hydropower power dams along the stream and its tributaries will likely have a major impact on fish spawning and quantity of fish available for consumption. Fifty percent of the proteins come from fish in the local diet.

Leaving Phnom Penh today for Stung Treng to continue working on the ‘Dammed’ project. Will be back at the end of the week…

See the first batch of photographs AT THIS LINK

CAMBODIA. Veun Sai (Ratanakkiri). 21/02/2013: Volleyball field submerged by the Sesan river. The river is subject to rather unpredictable daily surges because of water released by the Vietnam located Yali dam. A massive water release in 2009 caused considerable damage to several villages, destroying houses and killing livestock.

CAMBODIA. Veun Sai (Ratanakkiri). 21/02/2013: Volleyball field submerged by the Sesan river. The river is subject to rather unpredictable daily surges because of water released by the Vietnam located Yali dam. A massive water release in 2009 caused considerable damage to several villages, destroying houses and killing livestock.

On the way back to Phnom Penh… sleepers.

BELGIUM, Zaventem (Vlaams Brabant). 10/08/2014: Plane to Bangkok and Phnom Penh.

BELGIUM, Zaventem (Vlaams Brabant). 10/08/2014: Plane to Bangkok and Phnom Penh.

THAILAND, Bangkok. 15/08/2014: Suvarnabhumi Airport.

THAILAND, Bangkok. 15/08/2014: Suvarnabhumi Airport.

THAILAND, Bangkok. 15/08/2014: Suvarnabhumi Airport.

THAILAND, Bangkok. 15/08/2014: Suvarnabhumi Airport.

THAILAND, Bangkok. 15/08/2014: Suvarnabhumi Airport.

THAILAND, Bangkok. 15/08/2014: Suvarnabhumi Airport.

THAILAND, Bangkok. 15/08/2014: Suvarnabhumi Airport.

THAILAND, Bangkok. 15/08/2014: Suvarnabhumi Airport.